Regret, not Defeat!

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Sooooo, I was sitting here taking a mini-“break” at work (meetings ALL MORNING and my brain was FRIED) debating fear, regret, and success. I kept repeating….,

“You’re feeling regret, but you aren’t defeated…it’s okay!”

“You’re feeling regret, but you aren’t defeated… it was a decision!”

“You’re feeling regret, but YOU AREN’T DEFEATED!”

Somehow I stumbled upon this article “Iconic Roles and the Stars Who Regret Turning Them Down” … talk about immediate consolation and confirmation that IT’S OKAY…. In short, you can’t avoid making decisions! You never know what the outcome will be, but make the best decision you can using the information and reasoning you have and stand on it.  Yes, you may want to kick yourself in the left (and right) butt-cheek afterwards, but YOU MADE A CALL… you were able to do what so many people struggle with…. make a decision!  Now, the outcome may not have gotten you the results you desired, but you still stood the course and followed through with the consequences.

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No, life isn’t perfect (and neither are our decision making skills… at times), but we can only move forward and take charge of the things that are meant for us if we make the decision to let go and prepare to take hold of whatever’s next (thus the monkey-bars ;)… #Method2MyMADDNESS).  Will every decision bring you joy… NOPE!  Will you look back and think, “What the HELL was I thinking?!” …..MAYBE :).  I’ll be transparent and admit that I should have trusted God A LOT more than I did during one particular decision making process — told myself to “get my faith up!”, lol — but this has been one hell of a learning experience!!!!  What touched me most about the article is that the people who passed up great opportunities were still given new opportunities and are still successful.

Some doors only open once…  If you miss your chance don’t beat yourself up FOREVER!  Count your losses, thank God for the experience, and pray that He will make another way for you to achieve the same goal (#SelfMinistry).  My friend, David Mak Thompson, Jr, posted something I know as a Christian woman…but CLEARLY I needed a reminder….

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Heck, I wear a ring EVERY DAY that says the SAME THING…. that’s why I bought the darned thing!!!  Yes, I have to be ALL IN!  No matter what, trust God and move forward standing on his promises.

Proverbs 3:5-6

New King James Version (NKJV)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct[a] your paths.

I will NEVER forget what this feels like…. this heart-ache from a place so deep down I NEVER knew it existed.  I went in, guns blazing, somehow got distracted… started stressing, worrying, doubting… and now I’m praying that He’ll trust me again!!!  I often choose “the scenic route” first….it comes with some LIFE-LONG lessons, but I’ll get there.  There may be a delay, but our destinies haven’t been denied.  Sometimes we leap… sometimes we crawl…. other times we pat around in the dark until we find the switch (#random).  Never-the-less, every time our name graces the “wake-up” list we’ve been given another chance to get it right.  EVERYONE experiences regret, but we haven’t been defeated.  So, exhale and repeat to yourself…..

“You’re feeling regret, but you aren’t defeated…it’s okay!”

“You’re feeling regret, but you aren’t defeated… it was a decision!  Let’s go back to the drawing board”

“You’re feeling regret,…………………… but YOU HAVEN’T BEEN DEFEATED!”

Lo, I Am With You

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Last night on the way home from Bible Study I was having a conversation with God.  I was an HOUR late to class and missed the speakers for the evening, but I got there in enough time to hear what He had to say to me…

The title of the class is “Good to Great”, derived from Chip Ingram’s book “Good to Great in God’s Eyes”. Mrs. Brenda Wynn, who was recently elected as the first female (and first African American) Clerk for Davidson County, was one of the speakers for the evening, and was wrapping up her presentation about the experience from her decision to run through the actual election.  She began to pour into me immediately.  She encouraged us to write our dreams down…and to keep a journal of the things God is doing in our lives (and has done) so we won’t forget.  She shared that the first time she had actually verbalized her dream to herself and others was about 6 months ago in class…  She began to share the ways in which God pulled the people and resources needed out of unlikely situations, and how her faith was all she had to stand on (yes, I was emotional and excited…smiling the ENTIRE time about how God works).  THIS conversation was then followed by a passionate summary of the evening and charge by Dr. Woods…

The subject of that particular class was about taking risks.  A slide posted that read…

In order to reap a great reward there has to be a great risk.

Was I prepared to read that, NO!  But, it was exactly what I needed to hear and be reminded of.  The faith in obeying God at all costs, in leaving things that are familiar…totally stripping yourself of a ‘comfort zone’.  She reminded us that obeying God isn’t simply for our benefit, but someone else’s breakthrough/blessing could be tied up in our “yes”.  She gave the following suggestions of how to become a risk taker for God…

  1. Refocus your fear…
  2. Rejuvenate your faith…
  3. Recall God’s FAITHFULNESS!

These things can all be accomplished through:

  • Self denial and surrender
  • By renewing your mind through scripture
  • By releasing your faith through prayer (Even here she reminded us that while we are yet speaking God is answering our prayers!)

Her scripture reference came from Matthew 14… the story of Peter walking on water.  For some strange reason I decided to use my phone to locate the scripture instead of pulling out my Bible (I carry a physical bible with me in my purse ALL the time 😉 ).  I select the ‘read’ option to search for the scripture, and it redirects me to 2 Timothy 4!!!!!!!!  Yep, all the Bible scholars would know why I nearly HYPERVENTILATED! I said, “Do Lord Jesus”… smiled and moved over to Matthew….  Class was wrapped up by a challenge to the students to step out on faith… not looking to the right or left, not up or down, but to stay focused on our dreams and desires.  We had to physically gather our things and ‘step out of the boat’ to be dismissed from class (the action part ALWAYS gets me! #emotional).

Now, to fast-forward to my drive home (better yet, back to work)… I’m emotional and thinking to myself ALL THE WAY down Kings Hwy (like God can’t hear my thoughts), and I finally decide to open my mouth and talk to Him once I hit Ashland Hwy.  My conversation went a little something like this….

“God, what is going on?  I always wonder if I made the right decision moving, if I am still in your will… It has definitely been hard, but your hand has HAD to be in ALL of this!  This has to be you…It really can’t be anyone or anything else.  Yes, I will finally admit out loud to you that I did hear a voice while standing on the altar that last Sunday in October… a voice that said as clear as day, ‘It’s not too late to change your mind.  You can stay.  It’s not too late.’… a voice that I clearly ignored!  But, I will admit that it has been bothering me ever since!  God, that COULDN’T have been you!  I know that if I leaped out you would catch me, and you did.  There is absolutely NO WAY things could have happened the way they have.  With all the places I applied to, you ONLY opened the door here… The way you lined up a place to live, the people you have placed in my life, the church you have replanted me in, promotions at work…God, it could have only been you!” And before I could utter my thought of “send me a sign or SOMETHING” I saw a shooting star.  Yep, right there in front of my face… streaking through the sky from left to right…. as clear as, well……CLEAR!  Having placed the stars in the sky, He assured me through his POWER that I had done the right thing… that He is right here… that he still loved me…., and most importantly that I wasn’t disobedient…. He’s STILL here… and He has everything under control ::exhale::

I have only shared my altar story with ONE other human being.  I cannot put into words what the feeling has been like over the past year.  I don’t want to use the term “double-minded”, but it has definitely been a battle.  But, now I’m free…. just like that I was LIBERATED, and it feel soooooo good!  I was SCARED to go… scared to leave everything and everyone I knew…. scared to start over, and scared of being alone, scared (especially) of leaving my family, but more EXCITED about what God was going to do through my willingness to break away…  So, I leave you with a charge to trust God.  People say it often, but I live as proof that He will give you everything you need to carry out the assignment on your hand.  It’s okay to take risks… honestly, it is proving to be the only way to truly move forward and bring life to your dream.  Seek God, listen, and MOVE.  And if you hear something that contradicts what you see Him doing in your life remember, actions speak louder than words!  He proves himself to us time and time again… He’s given us EVERYTHING and only seeks a “yes” in return…  Are you willing to step out of the boat?

(I left out the fact that I’d called a mentee on the way to church and we were discussing her future goals and dreams… We were sharing about the challenges of making a big decision and the growth, development, and opportunities that result from the willingness to step on out faith.  You better believe I called her back after my convo with God, and she was the first person I shared the altar experience with!  I was overjoyed at the way things simply worked together!!!  There is so much more to it, but isn’t it AMAZING how God works! #GottaLoveHim!!!!)